Elton John was a lot of things — sideman, session man and flop, with a long tail of failed solo releases, including the 1969 LP Empty Sky — before 1970's Elton John made him an overnight star. He wasn't afraid to admit it. John packed a bonus scrapbook in the original lavish packaging of 1975's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy with bad-hair photos, comic music-press ads ("You've been warned! Elton John is 1968's great new talent") and other ample proof of his time, with lifelong lyricist Bernie Taupin, in Sixties-pop boot camp. That book is miniaturized for this reissue. Everything else here has ballooned; each album now has a second CD of demos, stray singles and, in the case of Captain Fantastic, a complete 1975 live premiere of the record. On Elton John, the extras actually trump the baroque strings and hippie-gospel chorales that crowded "Sixty Years On" and "Take Me to the Pilot." Stripped-bare demos of nearly every song on the record highlight the '68 Beatles and '58 Jerry Lee Lewis in John's voice and piano. With its flinty guitars and the natural gunslinger's gait of "Country Comfort" and "Burn Down the Mission," 1971's Tumbleweed Connection needs no improvement; it is one of the best country-rock albums ever written by London cowboys. But an early epic take of "Madman Across the Water," cut at the sessions with glam-blues guitar by Mick Ronson, is reason enough to buy this edition. An instant Number One hit, Captain Fantastic was, ironically, a great concept — a look back at John and Taupin's pre-fame labors — short on songs as great as the ones that made them famous, except for the opulent ballad "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." The concert version is the same flawed album but with muted applause — until the encores.
Elton John (Deluxe Edition)
- Elton John (Deluxe Edition)
- Elton John
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Around the Web
Cinema BlendThe 5 Greatest Comedies of All-Time According to Chris Rock
Bleacher ReportThe Worst Picks in NFL Draft History
Men's Journal12 Things Every Man Should Know About His Penis
Cracked28 Great Movie Moments Created By Ignoring The Script
Men's Journal10 Sexual Hygiene Tips for Better Sex
Cinema BlendTop 10 Grossest TV Moments
- George Clinton: Doctor Atomic
- Tatiana Maslany on That Emmys Snub and Playing Nine Roles on 'Orphan Black'
- Watch Jason Isbell Pay Tribute to Warren Zevon on 'Letterman'
- 11 Things We Learned From Bruce Jenner's Coming Out Interview
- Hear Pete Townshend's Orchestral Remake of the Who's 'Love, Reign O'er Me'
- Neil Young and Stephen Stills Light Up the Stage at L.A. Autism Benefit
- The Force Awakens: 'Star Wars' Superfan Chris Conley Goes to the NFL Draft
- Watch John Oliver Slam Fashion Industry's Child Labor Practices